Liner Notes
The FATpick Blog

FATpick has a catalog of hundreds of free guitar and bass tabs to choose from, and you can add custom songs by importing any Guitar Pro file.

Here are five of the songs shared by FATpick users this week.

“Blister in the Sun”

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes

“Blister in the Sun” is the lead track from the Violent Femmes’ self-titled debut album.

While never quite “popular” - it never broke into the Billboard 200 chart - the album, and the Femmes’ eclectic combination of acoustic punk, folk and blues (and just a taste of country and gospel, sounds the Femmes in general and frontman Gordon Gano in particular explored in later work) was critically acclaimed. Today it is widely considered an "alt rock" (or, as it was known at the time, “college rock”) classic.

Violent Femmes did enjoy a slow burn throughout the 1980s. Released in 1983, it took 4 years to achieve gold certification (500,000 copies sold) and 4 more to reach platinum (1 million copies sold).

“Blister in the Sun” from the Violent Femmes’ eponymous 1983 debut album.

Everyone credits the Pixies as the inspiration for grunge (and justifiably so), but it's hard to not hear elements of proto-grunge in songs like “Blister in the Sun” and “Add it Up”. Released the same year as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Toto’s “Africa” and breaking platinum in 1991, the year of Pearl Jam’s Ten and Nirvana’s Nevermind, Violent Femmes features a guitar/bass/drum trio with a surprisingly full sound playing melodic, guitar-heavy sing-along-friendly songs with self-deprecating lyrics and dramatic shifts in tempo and volume.

The “Blister in the Sun” tab shared to FATpick has four tracks: drum, guitar, bass, and Gano’s vocals (transcribed for a guitar in the standard tuning).

“Hard to Explain”

The Strokes

Is This It

“Hard to Explain” was the first single from Strokes’ 2001 studio debut album Is This It.

While was eclipsed by the breakaway success of the album’s second single “Last Nite”, the choppy grind of “Hard to Explain” is an excellent example of their sound (a better example in my opinion, and for what it’s worth, some critics agree) and makes it obvious why The Strokes were at the forefront of the garage-rock revival of the early 2010s.

Fun fact: the b-side to the “Hard to Explain” single is “New York City Cops”, a song that originally appeared on Is This It but was dropped from later printings. I guess the "New York City Cops … ain't too smart" refrain was received a little differently after 9/11 than when Is This It was first released in the summer of that year.

The official video for “Hard to Explain” by the Strokes, from their 2001 album *Is This It*

I say the right things / But act the wrong way / I like it right here / But I cannot stay

I missed the last bus / I'll take the next train / I try, but you see / It's hard to explain

It's always seemed to me that the lyrics to “Hard to Explain” are, at least in part, about ADHD - and coping - but maybe it’s just about youthful exuberance in general and I'm just projecting :)

“Hard to Explain” includes three tablature tracks - two guitar tabs and a bass tab - and backing audio for all three tabs, plus percussion.

“Train in Vain”

The Clash

London Calling

“Train in Vain” was released in February 1980 as the third single off the Clash’s landmark double album London Calling. It was the Clash’s first top 30 hit in the United States.

Written and recorded in less than 24 hours, “Train in Vain” was a sort of unplanned "hidden track" on London Calling: it was added so late in the process that the album sleeve was already printed before the song existed. As an unlisted track whose title is never mentioned in the lyrics, it's not surprising that many fans came to know the song as "Stand by Me" (a recurring refrain). The title was even expanded to “Train in Vain (Stand by Me)” for the US release.

“Train in Vain (Stand by Me)” from London Calling by The Clash.

In case you don't know, beyond the iconic photo of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage, the cover art for London Calling is interesting for it”s typography, layout and color scheme being a direct homage to Elvis Presley's 1956 debut album.

The tablature for “Train in Vain” by the Clash shared to FATpick include three distinct guitar tabs, a bass tab, and an audio-only drum track.

“I Will Follow”

U2

Boy

Among their many incarnations, Irish supergroup U2 were once a sort of post-punk band. Their debut studio album Boy (released in 1980) and its opening track “I Will Follow’ is an excellent example of that sound.

U2 performing “I Will Follow” live at Red Rocks in 1983 - the same show that became Under a Blood Red Sky.

FATpick's version of “I Will Follow” includes three playable tabs -- bass and two guitar tracks - and an audio-only drum track.

“Stan”

Eminem (featuring Dido)

The Marshall Mathers LP

No doubt the inspiration for the current slang term for a creepily obessive fan, “Stan”, the third single from The Marshall Mathers LP became one of Eminem’s most popular and highly awarded songs.

Eminem performing “Stan” live with Elton John on piano and singing Dido’s part.

The version of “Stan” shared to FATpick includes tabs for guitar, bass and Dido's vocals transcribed for guitar.

Let's be honest tho: the real question raised by “Stan” isn't how did he send that tape out? it's what was he using to record onto cassette from his car? Did Stan have one of those cassette-based dictaphone memo-recorders in the year 2000?


FATpick is a guitar practice tool that presents auto-scrolling guitar tablature synchronized with backing audio. We call it “the tab player that listens.” FATpick evaluates your performance as you play along with any guitar, giving instant feedback on the notes you hit or miss and their timing. Choose from the rapidly growing library of songs shared by others, upload any Guitar Pro tab to play custom songs.

FATpick, the tab player that listens

While we do intend to charge for FATpick eventually, we're still making it cooler. For the foreseeable future, FATpick is totally free. No time limits. No lite version. No ads. No in-app-purchases. Just download and start playing.

Early adopters can help shape the ultimate guitar practice tool, and will get a sweet discount when we're finally ready to charge.

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